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RARE NATIVE BREEDS

WILD HEARTS

At a time when our world is fragile and in need of great change and care from us all. I believe it’s so important to cherish all our environments, nature and animals.

 

In the UK we are lucky enough to have beautiful Native horses and ponies roaming our land. Some of the Native breeds originate from particular regions across the UK & Ireland and roam in semi-wild herds who are accustomed to their particular environments. They graze in harsh, vast landscapes where hill farmers with commoner’s rights are custodians of these breeds. They care for them, protect them, ensuring their safety, health and continuing the long line of ancient gene pools continue for these native breeds to thrive and be healthy. Other native breeds are traditional workhorses with a long history of working alongside man from agriculture to industry over the years.

Sadly, some of these native ponies are in danger of becoming extinct. Their environments are changing, from intensive agriculture, expansive building, fencing off vast areas of moorland which restricts grazing, lack of interest in native breeds from horse enthusiasts, hill farmers whose families have farmed their land for many generations are unable to pass down their farms to new generations due to financial pressures and changes to farming legislation by DEFRA and Natural England’s policies in farming stewardship schemes. All these elements are diminishing the likelihood of a future in the wild for our rare native breeds.

I hope that Wild Hearts will raise the profile of our native breeds who have grazed and shaped our land for hundreds of years – some of which are facing possible extinction.

 

 

RARE NATIVE BREEDS

RARE BREED SURVIVAL TRUST EQUINE WATCH LIST

PRIORITY
Cleveland Bays
Dales Pony
Eriskay Pony
Exmoor Pony
Hackney Horse & Pony
Suffolk Horse
 
AT RISK
Clydesdale Horse
Fell Pony
Highland Pony
New Forest Pony
Shire Horse
 
Other Native UK Breeds
Shetland Pony
Welsh pony & Cob
Connemara Pony
Irish Draft Horse

If we lose our Native rare breeds, we lose our heritage and history. The British landscape that our native rare breeds roam would change forever.  “Bracken and gorse would grow uncontrollably. There would be no wildflowers for bees to pollinate. No short-grazed areas with dung from the grazers for any of the wildlife to feed on, or open areas for ground nesting birds to lay their eggs and raise their fledglings. The fragility of these ecosystems needs to be addressed. An equal balance between native grazers, thriving plants of all native kinds and wildlife we can keep the traditional Cumbrian way of life.” Written by -Elizabeth Robinson from Fell Pony Heritage Trust – https://www.fpht.co.uk

My book is not a documentary photography book with information about our native breeds as there are plenty of amazing books which educate and document our native breeds. With a passionate message of conservation at its heart, the project’s aim is to show people the heart and soul of these wonderful breeds and to encourage people to support these vulnerable breeds, either by protecting them in their natural environment or by buying a registered pony; a step which could help save these rare breeds. Once complete, there will be a gallery show and the photographs and photo-encaustic artwork will be collated into a stunning fine art book. I have released a small selection of prints to give you a little flavour of what’s to come!

 

So far my project has won me numerous awards which I’m really thrilled and proud about. I hope these will all contribute to showing the importance and love for all our native breeds within the UK.

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